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Friday, 20 September 17:23 (GMT -05:00)

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Chinese IT Innovations as an Example for the Resto of the World

China seems to have been trying hard to revolutionize the Internet and entire IT industry through innovation. The international expert community has been seriously discussing the possibility of China setting a good example for the rest of the world when it comes to innovation.




British anthropologist Tom McDonald settled down in a tiny Chinese village 4 years ago in order to study the local approach to using social networks. At this point, the expert has arrived at a conclusion that the local online world is pretty dynamic and innovation-driven. He says that for some strange reason, the western world thinks that the Chinese Internet is kind of boring, with a wide range of various limitations for the user. Meanwhile local users are creative while the local online world is full of life and resembles a carnival.
At the same time, the expert says that the local Internet offers even more opportunities than the one in relatively bigger locations of the Western world. For instance, the expert says that in the village he has been living for the last 4 years, they have started using $G networks while in his native Yorkshire this is still something that’s missing. This is basically why the expert says he has been so interested in those contrasts. In today’s China, even rural citizens are active internet users and have access to the all the advanced solutions the local online world can offer them.
On top of that, this tendency in China keeps on getting momentum thanks to which China has already outpaced the Western world in terms of the amount of available online services, including online payment systems, as well as the ways to use them.
The whole point is, if the western nations want to see their online future, the should look at China. The stats say that China has been among the leaders in terms of internet users for the last decade. Back in 2008, China even outpaced the United States. At this point, around 700 million Chinese go online on a regular basis, with most of them enjoying high-speed internet connection. Apparently, most of them leave in megalopolises, but 178 millions of them still leave in relatively small towns with population of several thousand people.
How do Chinese go online?
The 2 most popular social networks in China are WeChat and QQ. At the same time Sina Weibo – a micro-blogging service – has fewer users even though this is the most popular Chinese network outside China. Apparently, instant messaging has been the most popular function used in the social networks since they make it possible to avoid e-mails for both personal and corporate needs, the expert says. By the way, he says that in China they believe that it’s necessary to make friends with colleagues, and social networks really help people get in tough on a regular basis, especially as they have to devote a lot of time to maintaining those relations.


At the same time, WeChat and QQ are more than just an alternative to e-mail. For instance, QQ offers personal pages with animation, as well as some other features making it possible to maintain schedules, to-do lists, diaries to tell the world about the most important events in your life and so much more, including games, both local and international ones. The bottom line is, QQ can be called an updated Facebook with tons of extra features. At the same time, the expert offers an interesting analogy for WeChat, which is “WhatsApp on steroids”.  The so-called Drift Bottle feature makes it possible to type a short message and send it to the open virtual sea for someone else to find and read it. The app also allows the user to see other users nearby. This feature resembles such popular dating apps as Tinder and Grindr. If you are feeling lonely, you can just shake your smartphone and this gesture will make you visible for people nearby who don’t mind chatting with others. This feature is especially popular with students.


McDonald left China in 2014. Since then the Chinese segment of the Internet has improved a lot and got tons of innovative products and services, including internal currencies used in social networks. Those funds can be used to pay for almost anything, from ordering pizza to taxi. You can even pay your bills and buy tickets with that virtual money. At this point, this online payment method is even more popular than credit or debit cards. Chinese don’t simply copy foreign IT solutions. If you visit WeChat, AliBaba and TaoBao, you will find services unavailable in Western peers, which is why Western companies also has something to learn from their Asian peers.


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